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AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old December 17th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #91
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Here ya go Chris, from the manual:


- 49 -
Adjusting the audio input level
∫ Adjusting the input level of the built-in microphone (5.1 ch)
≥ Set the [MIC SETUP] to anything other than [2ch]. (l 45)
1 Select the menu.
2 (When [SET]/[SETr ] is selected)
Touch / to adjust the microphone input
level.
≥ Touch to activate/disactivate ALC. When ALC is
activated, the icon is surrounded by yellow and the
amount of sound distortion can be reduced. When ALC is
disactivated, natural recording can be performed.
≥ Adjust the microphone input level so that the last
2 bars of the gain value are not red. (Otherwise, the sound
is distorted.) Select a lower setting for microphone input
level.
3 Touch [ENTER] to set the microphone input
level and then touch [EXIT].
≥ is displayed on the recording screen when the ALC
is turned on.
≥ When [MIC SETUP] is [ZOOM MIC], the volume will be different depending on the zoom rate.
≥ You cannot record with the audio completely muted.
: [RECORD SETUP] # [5.1ch MIC LEVEL] # desired setting
[AUTO]: ALC is activated, and the recording level is adjusted automatically.
[SET]/[SETr ]: The desired recording level can be set.
MENU
A Center
B Front left
C Back left
D Front right
E Back right
F Microphone input level


Adjusting the input level of the built-in microphone (5.1 ch) using the operation
icons
≥ Set the [MIC SETUP] to anything other than [2ch]. (l 45)
≥ Set [5.1ch MIC LEVEL] to [SET]/[SETr ]. (l 49)
1 Display the operation icons and touch . (l 64)
2 Touch / to adjust settings.
3 Touch to complete the setting.
∫ Adjusting the input level of the built-in microphone (2 ch), external
microphone or audio device
≥ Set [MIC SETUP] to [2ch]. (l 45)
Adjust the input level operating the Audio control knobs (CH1, CH2)
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Old December 17th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #92
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Ok Chris you got me to checking in on the audio and it looks like you got to set the audio to 5.1 for it to have auto levels. Who needs 5.1 internal mics??

I'll figure out as soon as I can if will control the levels of an external mic.

From the manual:

- 45 -
This unit can record audio in 5.1 ch or 2 ch. (The voice recording method is Dolby® Digital ( ))
When recording in 2 ch, it is possible to switch between built-in microphone, external microphone,
or connected audio equipment for each channel.
Microphone setup
Recording setting of the built-in microphone can be adjusted.
Select the menu.
≥ If you wish to record higher quality sound and maintain realism even when zooming in, for
instance recording a music recital, we recommend setting [MIC SETUP] to [SURROUND].
≥ When the [BASS SETTING] is set to anything other than [0dB], it becomes impossible to select
[FOCUS MIC]. (l 94)
≥ When the [REC FORMAT] is set to [SA 480/60i], [2ch] is used.
≥ Display of the audio level meter will change depending on the settings. (l 106)
Recording
Audio Input
: [RECORD SETUP] # [MIC SETUP] # desired setting
[SURROUND]: Sound is recorded with 5.1 ch surround microphone.
[ZOOM MIC]: Sound is recorded with 5.1 ch surround microphone changing the
directionality in conjunction with the zoom operation. Sounds near
the front of the unit are recorded more clearly if you zoom in (closeup)
and surrounding sounds are recorded more realistically if you
zoom out (wide angle).
[FOCUS MIC]: The forward sound is recorded more clearly by enhancing the
directionality toward the center for the 5.1 ch surround microphone.
[2ch]: Sound from two directions is recorded in 2 ch by forward-facing
stereo microphones.
MENU
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #93
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

I'm with Chris on audio. For ceremony's I run 2 wireless back to my main camera and honestly for the last 8 or 9 years I've been running them on AGC (I'm still old school with PD170's) but I control the levels if needed on the receiver but obviously a ceremony is slow moving and I have never had one clip my audio.

Receptions are another matter. I run 2 mics. My trsuty AKG Blueline Hypercaroid to channel 1 and a Sennheiser drum mic with a plugin transmitter back to my camera on channel 2. Again I run AGC and I have never ever had a clipping problem. Between the 10db attenuation on the hyper and the level control on the receiver it works out great BUT to take a camera without some sort of automatic gain control could be the big non starter for me.

I'd hate to buy one, try it and then have to return it if the audio doesn't work the way I need it to. It seems though that that might be the only way for me to know for 110% sure.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #94
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Chris,

While plowing around in the menu for audio settings, I found where you can set the Zebra. So I need to correct something I told you earlier. I told you the 90 only had a choice between 90% and 100%, that is wrong. There are two Zebra settings that can be set from 50% to 100% and by pressing the Zebra button that toggles between Zebra1,Zebra 2 and off.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #95
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Tim beat me to it but I'll post anyway:

The audio works as follows:

The external switches;
input1,2, line/mic; 48v on/off
Ch1, Level, INT(L)/Input1,2
Ch2, Level, INT(R)/Input2

The audio menu;
Mic setup; Surround/ZoomMic/FocusMic/2ch
For Mic setup Surround/ZoomMic/FocusMic, choose Mic Level among the following:
AUTO
SET
SET+ALC

For Mic setup 2ch, choose MIC ALC On/Off. Choose EXT. MIC GAIN1,2 -50db/-60db
********************************
The short answer is AUTO is only available for the internal built-in mic. If you connect an external mic(s), you can set the level and input impedance, but your only choice after that is ALC on/off.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:52 PM   #96
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Tom correct me if I'm wrong but I think Auto only applies to 5.1 mic setup and not 2ch for the internal mic.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #97
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Thanks Tim (and Tom too)

Yep it looks like there is NO auto for external mics!! That's totally crazy...Barry Green did say that you can have ALC (more a clipping control) but you still have to adjust audio manually.

Sadly that writes off the AC-90 for weddings for me!! I have enough to do without having to worry about audio levels at receptions...The HMC's have a manual/auto switch which is a godsend when things get hairy!! I couldn't live without it!!

Hmmm how does that makes you feel Don??? I'm keeping my HMC80's for now as they do everything I need them to do and the Leica optics do make a difference to footage....Maybe we need to look at the Sony EA-50 again????

I'm sure Panasonic is getting a third party to design/manufacture the AC series (China??) The build quality is completely different from the HMC series and why would they leave stuff out??

Thanks again for all your work Tim

Chris
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Old December 18th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #98
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Akin View Post
Tom correct me if I'm wrong but I think Auto only applies to 5.1 mic setup and not 2ch for the internal mic.
You are not wrong, I was forgetting 2ch recording could use the internal mic, not just the xlr's.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 02:44 AM   #99
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

The ac90 reminds me a lot of the dvx100b I used to have, it also had a lot of image presets that you could or had to tweak to get the most of it. Allthough I do prefer a camera that get's it right from the start and which leaves enough room to color correct in post I must say the ac90 is a remarkable camera at it's pricepoint.
You could discuss about features they left out but considering what it costs I think you get a whole lot more then what other cameramanufacturers are offering at this moment.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #100
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I'm keeping my HMC80's for now as they do everything I need them to do and the Leica optics do make a difference to footage....Maybe we need to look at the Sony EA-50 again????

I'm sure Panasonic is getting a third party to design/manufacture the AC series (China??) The build quality is completely different from the HMC series and why would they leave stuff out??

Thanks again for all your work Tim

Chris
Hi Chris,
I totally understand about the omission of the audio auto level, but I don't have anything but praise for the lens despite not carrying the Leica brand. It's got a 5 axis stabilizer, 8 blade iris, nano coated glass, auto focuses perfectly, has extremely good slow speed creeping zoom, corner to corner sharpness and the camera label says made in Japan.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #101
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Hi Tom

I doubt whether they would blantantly stick on a label saying "Made in China/Phillipines/etc etc" but I just wondered if various modules are outsourced. I'm sure the actual cam is made in Osaka but I cannot understand the omissions!! The audio is mighty strange indeed. Even the 130/160 has auto/manual (in fact one for each channel too!!) Why on earth they omitted it is weird!! One would think..the HMC 40 audio works well, let's not mess with that and use it as it stands?

My 130 lenses were razor sharp too...absolutely pristine image BUT no wow factor ...it could of course just be my feeble brain not liking the "look" of the footage compared to the HMC camera ...maybe cos the image is a lot sharper?? One thing that also troubled me was on long shots in good light the distant background seemed to look "smudged" ...Again they could just be the Vimeo/YT compression ...large expanses of trees or grass seemed to be a little soft yet the foreground shots are absolutely magnificent ...someone on another forum mentioned that shots of people looked like their hair was spray painted on but there is certainly none of that in Tim's clips even at 24db.

Gosh, I hope you guys are wrong about the no auto audio for the XLR channels ... maybe if you set the ALC on and leave the level at 50% ..it will handle super loud music with an external XLR mic???

Chris
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Old December 18th, 2012, 04:58 AM   #102
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

i've been following the discussions on this camera for a while now as i need a camera to replace my pd170 and complement my 7D, one that is good for both weddings and corporate stuff (and cheap as the economy here is f****d!).
tim, thanks for testing the camera!
i have some questions about the sound:
if i have a mic attached can i record on 2 separate channels with different levels? this is my usual method when recording weddings. i have one channel which i monitor as best i can and another which i have set a fair bit lower so if there are any sudden increases in volume i always have usable sound. will that work in an ac90?
can i have the camera mic on one channel in automatic and an attached mic on another channel in manual?
thanks
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Old December 18th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #103
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Hi Andrew

It seems so far like any input on the AC-90 is manual only (but you can have ALC on which supposedly stops it when the signal goes over a default limit) As with all Panny cameras you have independent control of channel one and channel two using the gain controls on the camera. It seems sadly that auto can only be used on the internal mic.

Chris
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Old December 18th, 2012, 05:21 AM   #104
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

cheers chris!
so my system should work.
my only real fears with the camera are the painted hair/smudgy background (which seems to appear in some YT and vimeo videos) and filming outside in the summer (nds very much needed here in madrid)
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Old December 18th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #105
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Hi Andrew

I'm being an optimist now but that might just be YT processing?? The simplest way is to ask one of the kind folks here to give you a 30 sec clip that shows the smudginess online and test the AVCHD clip for yourself. It still gives a nice picture and apart from the audio issue, it's brilliant value for money!

Chris
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